Louisa and Sissy: Fact Against Fancy in Hard Times

Topics: Hard Times, Charles Dickens, Household Words Pages: 3 (1067 words) Published: November 27, 2011
Louisa and Sissy: Fact against fancy in Hard Times.

Two female characters in Hard Times, Louisa Gradgrind and Sissy Jupe could be considered contrastive by fate and there is moral fable in this contrast. It is significant that in last two paragraphs of the novel Dickens applies to motherhood as a sense of woman happiness. Daughter of main educator of Coketown, have got only the bitter questionnaire: “Herself again a wife - a mother - lovingly watchful of her children, ever careful that they should have a childhood of the mind no less than a childhood of the body, as knowing it to be even a more beautiful thing, and a possession, any hoarded scrap of which, is a blessing and happiness to the wisest? Did Louisa see this? Such a thing was never to be.”(Chapter 9, Final, p. 274) But Sissy, “Girl number twenty” (Chapter 1,p.8) in Gradgrind list, was granted with love and motherhood in return for her human virtue: “ But, happy Sissy's happy children loving her; all children loving her; she, grown learned in childish lore; thinking no innocent and pretty fancy ever to be despised; trying hard to know her humbler fellow-creatures, and to beautify their lives of machinery and reality with those imaginative graces and delights,… or fancy dress, or fancy fair; but simply as a duty to be done, - did Louisa see these things of herself? These things were to be.” (Chapter 9, Final, p.274) What is the major difference between two of them and why author gives credits to simple-minded Sissy, and left sorrows for educated Louisa? The reader can understand, that Gradgrind was disappointed with Sissy from the very beginning. He didn’t like the fact, that her father works in the circus.Fun and imagination were beyond Gradgrind’s acceptation. Sissy failed with factual definition of the horse in the very beginning of the novel and becomes a loser in his eyes. But his own daughter, Louisa, has to struggle with inner conflict:”fire with nothing to burn”(Ch. 3) Her...
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